Andrew Murray is a British trade union and Labour Party official and activist. Murray was seconded from Unite the Union to Labour headquarters for the 2017 United Kingdom general election, subsequently becoming an adviser to Jeremy Corbyn from 2018 to 2020.
Born into an aristocratic Scottish family, Murray began his career as a journalist and later became a senior official for various trade unions. Murray was chair of the Stop the War Coalition from its formation in 2001 until June 2011 and again from September 2015 to 2016. After forty years in the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and then the Communist Party of Britain, he joined Labour towards the end of 2016.
From 1986 to 1987, he worked for the Soviet Novosti news agency. He was also a Morning Star journalist, a publication to which he still contributes.
Influence on Corbyn
From 2016, Karie Murphy was executive director of the Leader's Office, under Jeremy Corbyn. Along with Seumas Milne, Andrew Murray and Len McCluskey, she has been identified as one of the "Four Ms" whom it is claimed had significant influence on Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party..
Early political activities
Murray joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1976, aged 18, and became associated with its Straight Left faction. At this time, Murray became a close friend of Seumas Milne, who was also active in Straight Left. Murray's allies during the period have been described by Francis Beckett as "more extreme than most of the Stalinists I knew. The Stalinists were known as tankies, but Murray’s lot were super-tankies".Following the dissolution of the CPGB in 1991 he was a leader of the Communist Liaison Group, which itself dissolved in 1995 with Murray and its other members joining the Communist Party of Britain. Murray served on the Communist Party of Britain's executive committee from 2000 to 2004, and was an advocate of the party supporting the Respect Coalition in the European and municipal elections that year. He served once more on the party's executive from 2008 until 2011. He told John Harris in 2015: "Communism still represents, in my view, a society worth working towards – albeit not by the methods of the 20th century, which failed".
As chair of Stop the War, Murray presided at the concluding rally against the Iraq War in 2003, a rally which is claimed as the largest political demonstration in British history. He announced his intention to stand down as Stop the War chair in June 2011 and was succeeded by the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn in September 2011. Murray was elected by the Coalition's Steering Committee to the new post of Deputy President, but returned to the position of chair in September 2015, following Corbyn's election as Leader of the Labour Party.
However, a significant part of the faction felt that the BRS was ‘reformist’ and ‘revisionist’ in all its guises from 1951, counter-posing a revolutionary path to the parliamentary road to socialism envisaged in the CPGB’s existing programme. This stance was clouded in ambiguity in many sections of the CPGB’s left, with the default position usually being expressed in a preference for the 1951 version of the BRS overseen by Stalin, as opposed to later versions modified by a ‘revisionist’ CPGB leadership. This opposition suffered a major split in the run-up to the CPGB’s 1977 congress, with Sid French taking away 700 or so supporters to form the New Communist Party of Great Britain (after French realised that the CPGB’s leadership was intent on a reorganisation of his Surrey district, which would have deprived him of his organisational bridgehead). The rump left opposition in the CPGB coalesced around Fergus Nicholson (other key figures were John Foster, Brian Filling, Nick Wright, Susan Michie, Pat Turnbull and Andrew Murray) who had been the CPGB’s student organiser until 1974.
The Straight Left newspaper/magazine, published by Fergus Nicholson and his most loyal supporters, continued to appear long after the bulk of the original faction had decided to follow Andrew Murray and Nick Wright into the Communist Party of Britain. After a series of annual conferences, Straight Left eventually ceased publication as a newspaper, due to the difficulties in maintaining sales and production. The main publication of the group is now The Socialist Correspondent, which is available online. Other leading members of the group were Steve Howell, Peter Latham and Peter Hall.
Circa 2000, the 'leadership faction' around general secretary Robert Griffiths and Morning Star editor John Haylett is uneasily aligned to the Diamat faction of Nick Wright, Anita Wright and Morning Star journalist Andrew Murray (Diamat was a publication which broke away from the pro-Stalin Straight Left faction. The Diamat faction poses left against the Griffiths-Haylett faction. However, as a matter of principle it is opposed to standing candidates in elections. As comrade Murray hints in his regular 'Eyes left' column in the Star, these comrades feel obliged to automatically support the Labour Party. Against these two 'in' factions is ranged the 'out' faction around the former apparatchiks Mike Hicks (ousted CPB general secretary), his partner Mary Rosser (former Morning Star chief executive) and their veteran ideologue Ron Bellamy (former CPB executive member).
In 1998 the hidden rivalry burst out into the open. Mary Rosser - still in control at the Morning Star - sacked the newly appointed editor John Haylett. Backed by Griffiths, the majority of journalists struck in retaliation and comrade Haylett was eventually reinstated. Not surprisingly the Griffith-Haylett faction moved to swiftly remove from all positions of influence those who had sided with Rosser and co.
"No to War"
Covid, Capitalism and Media
Morning Star Red Xmas bash
The Morning Star December 10 2020·
7pm Wednesday 16 December. REGISTER NOW to avoid disappointment.
Panellists include Morning Star editor Ben Chacko, CWU general secretary Dave Ward, Unite Chief of Staff Andrew Murray, legendary industrial correspondent Mick Costello, reporter Bethany Rielly, Venezuelan election observer Calvin Tucker, award-winning sports editor Kadeem Simmonds, circulation manager Bernadette Keaveney, and co-author of the ground-breaking No Holding Back report Laura Smith.
Covid and the Economic Crisis
Morning Star Fringe
No Cold War campaign
- Jodie Evans CODEPINK
- Martin Jacques - author of "When China Rules the World"
- Kate Hudson CND
- Vijay Prashad Tricontinental Institute director
- Li Jingjing Chinese journalist
- Fiona Edwards No Cold War
- Andrew Murray Stop the War Coalition
- Anna Chen writer
- Ben Chacko Morning Star
FightBack2021 was held online January 2021. Thousands of Labour activists tuned in to be part of Arise Festival’s kickstart to a year of activism, ‘Fighting back in 2021: How Labour’s Left should respond to the current crisis’. Listeners heard from an impressive array of speakers, ranging from MPs in the Socialist Campaign Group, left journalists, trade unionists, and activists in the Labour Party and wider social movements. The message was loud and clear – the Labour left is here to stay, and will be at the forefront of both resisting the Tories’ reactionary agenda, and standing for socialist solutions to the crisis and democracy in the Labour Party.
In the first session, chaired by Laura McAlpine and entitled ‘Understanding the crisis – the Tory agenda and the alternative: for #ZeroCovid and a #PeoplesPlan’, speakers discussed the Government’s response to the crisis, and what the Left’s strategy should be. Diane Abbott, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jon Trickett, Ben Chacko from the Morning Star, Andrew Murray from Unite the Union, and Amy Smith from Arise Festival agreed that the public health crisis had to be understood in class terms – the Government response had most adversely affected working class people, especially Black communities.
In concluding her initial remarks, Diane Abbott said ‘the Tories, through their mishandling of the crisis, have turned what was a public health crisis into an economic crisis, so we have to fight for the correct strategy to fight the virus – a Zero Covid strategy – but we also have to fight for equality and the right economic measures to make sure that the poorest and most vulnerable do not pay the price for fighting coronavirus’.
Denied entry to Ukraine
On 15 September 2018, The Times reported that Murray had been banned from entering Ukraine for the following three years and accused of organising pro-Russian activities, including support for Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic; Murray denied such accusations.
"Build the Socialist Left"
Solidarity with "anti-fascist resistance" in Ukraine
Anti-Fascists packed the main meeting room of the Marx Memorial Library in London November 2014 for a meeting of Solidarity with Anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine, supporting those who are resisting the illegal fascist government in Kiev.
Speakers included Anatolii Sokolyuk, the international secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Alexey Albu, a member of Borotba and an elected district councillor from Odessa now in exile who both spoke by means of a Skype connection.
Albu gave a detailed and harrowing account of his experiences in the Odessa fire massacre that left him seriously injured and a political exile.
Other speakers included Steve Skelly of the RMT union, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, Jorge Martin from Socialist Appeal and rapper Marcel Cartier. The meeting was chaired by Richard Brenner. Alex Gordon was also present.
More than 150 people packed a lecture room in central London June 2014 for the launch of a broad based campaign, Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine.
The speakers were Richard Brenner from the campaign, Lindsey German from Counterfire, Boris Kagarlitsky from the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements (IGSO), in Moscow who joined via Skype as he had been unable to get a visa, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal and the International Marxist Tendency and Sergei Kirichuk from the socialist movement Borotba (Struggle) in Ukraine who also spoke over a Skype link.
Richard Brenner opened with the announcement of the most recent air strike by the Kiev junta on Lugansk, resulting in heavy casualties, including many civilians. Air strikes like this have been made on an orphanage and a children’s hospital among other targets.
“But,” Brenner said, “the western media from the BBC to Fox News are promoting the Nato lie that the cause of the problem is a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine.” He pointed out that most of the population of eastern Ukraine are and always have been Russian speakers.
"Building an economy for the people"
"Building an economy for the people" was a 2012 Communist Party of Britain publication.
"An alternative economic and political strategy for 21st Century Britain".
Edited by Jonathan White.
Advisory Board 2009
Communist Review Advisory Board 2009.
- Michael Boncza
- Kenny Coyle
- Richard Hart
- John Haylett
- Kate Hudson
- Jerry Jones
- Emily Mann
- Steven Martin
- Andrew Murray
- Jean Turner
Midlands Communist University
May 27 2007:
- Avtar Siddique Association of Indian Communists, Indian Workers Association
- Robert Griffiths Communist Party of Britain
- Harsev Bains Association of Indian Communists, Indian Workers Association
- Navid Shomali Tudeh Party
- Nick Lowles Searchlight
- Bill Greenshields Communist Party of Britain
- Graham Stevenson Communist Party of Britain
- Dyal Bagri Association of Indian Communists, Indian Workers Association
- Carol Turner CND
- Andrew Murray Stop the War Coalition
- Rob Miller Cuba Solidarity Campaign
- Ben Stevenson Young Communist League of Britain
- Andy Goodall Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
- Joginder Bains Association of Indian Communists, Indian Workers Association
- Joanne Stevenson Young Communist League of Britain
CPB executive committee
In 2008 the Communist Party of Britain executive committee consisted of Carol Turner, Ivan Beavis, Geoff Bottoms, Mary Davis, John Foster, Pauline Fraser, Bill Greenshields, Robert Griffiths, Anita Halpin, Kevin Halpin, John Haylett, Joel Heyes, Steve Johnson, Carolyn Jones, Martin Levy, Gawain Little, Alan MacKinnon, Emily Mann, Tommy Morrison, Andrew Murray, Rick Newnham, Ben Stevenson, Graham Stevenson, Carol Turner and Anita Wright.